I have a good friend who has a daughter the same age as my Geekygirl. Whenever we hang out we talk about our girls, and for the last three and half years, without fail, at some point in the conversation she says "you know, this is such a fun age". I pointed out to her once that she seems to have found all the ages her daughter has reached fun so far, which is a testament to her joy in parenting, but I think she has put her finger on what we all so love so much about this daunting journey; every age is fun in its own way (at least so far, check back when Geekygirl turns thirteen).
I'm prompted to write today about my Geekyboy, though, because he really is at such a charming age. He is nineteen months old, on that cusp of transitioning from baby to little boy. At the moment he is such a sweetheart, such a cheery soul, and I'm sure any minute now he will turn into a cantankerous, challenging toddler, so I want to capture in words these last days of his babieness, lest I forget.
With a first child, the future is so unknown, it is impossible to imagine your adorable chunky thighed, pliable baby become that lithe, wild haired three year old sprite you watch sassing her mother in the grocery store. But with baby number two (or three or four, I imagine), the future of that baby is there staring at you through the eyes of his older sibling. I started thinking about this after looking at a calender on my kitchen wall, made by my sister from pictures of our children. September has a picture of Geekyboy, aged about 8 months, captured perfectly in character, beaming from ear to ear in a swing. I remember that little baby so well, but he is so different now from that not so distant moment.
I starting writing this blog for myself, and for friends and family, but am delighted and surprised to have garnered the attention of other readers. I apologize to you for the self indulgence of the rest of this post, surely of interest only to my friends and his grandparents.
This is wonder that is Geekybaby:
He greets me with pure delight, every single time we are reunited after being apart. I have never felt so adored. (Though the dog does come close in enthusiasm) This weekend, when I can home from the store he held me close then said "Jacket. Off", tugging at it, expressing perfectly clearly with two words that he felt that once home, I should stay home.
He recently pointed to the correct figure in his "ten little ladybugs" book and said "eight"! Sure, he said 'eight" when he pointed to the number nine on the next page too, but still, he knows that some words are numbers, and recognizes that those symbols denote that number. I was pretty impressed with such a skill at 19 months.
And just when I started to be concerned that he would grow into an emotionally stunted mathematical genius, today at dinner he said to us "Happy!" with a big beam. We have just started to have him join us at the table instead of sitting beside us in his high chair, and he is so delighted to be part of the family. Watching him understand that feelings can be described with words brought a smile to our faces. This is one of the most amazing concepts in human development, and I could witness it a million times and still be awed.
He is a conversationalist, he doesn't yet have a whole lot to say but will try to engage you in a chat about the things he knows about, like the parts of one's face, by asking "Mummy, ears?", tugging on either mine or his own, or his favourite animated characters, Dora and Boots, by producing their plastic likenesses and bouncing them along your arm for an adventure. (I don't think Geekygirl had even seen TV at his age, but for better or worse, this one is a Dora the Explorer fan already)
He is a laugher, producing peals if turned upside down, tickled on the thighs, or otherwise manhandled. Happiness is his default.
He is musical, bashing a maraca or drumstick against every available surface in time to the "lion king" soundtrack that has to be played incessantly every minute we are home (entirely my fault, I actually owned the recording long before I had kids and played it for Geekygirl when she recognized the pictures on the cover).
He is a cuddler, Sumo wrestler style. On the rare occasion that I sit down for ten minutes he runs and belly flops onto me over and over, occcasionally knocking the wind out of me, and becomes most indignant when I insist that it is Geekygirl's turn for some mummy time (When having a second child I put a lot of thought into the older being jealous of the younger, but not the opposite scenario, which happens more often every day).
I find it hard to imagine that this petal cheeked, long lashed baby boy will ever turn into a bestubbled, hairy legged, deep voiced man. I just hope the inetervening time goes by slowly!
I went last week to see David Cook in concert (I know, American Idol winner, not exactly cool but it was at the Fillmore, the best venue in SF, and he is actually quite talented. Honestly) It was a great show, but I realized how my perpsective had changed when I found myself watching David, and the cute young men in the band, tattooed and wild haired, but yet somehow still wholesome, and thinking "I bet their mothers are proud of them". I started fantasizing that Geekyboy's emerging talent for drums might turn into a rock and roll career for him, and a new roll for me, "Rock Mummy".